Malaysia: Ten Fruitful Years

For five festive days last week, nearly a million Malaysians streamed through their flag-draped capital of Kuala Lumpur to celebrate ten years of merdeka — freedom. In a mile-long procession and countless do-it-yourself fiestas, brightly costumed citizens, many of them from remote kampongs, beat on Malay drums, Chinese cymbals and Kadazan tom-toms. Sarawak Dyaks played flutes with their noses and blue-clad Chinese acrobats and Bajau horsemen from Sabah performed, while Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, 64, watched from a blue Bentley convertible flanked by three ceremonial elephants.

The Tunku had every reason to be pleased. Since he took office in...

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